Pittsburgh has some of the worst air quality in the country—we rank in the worst 10% for the amount of fine particulate matter in the air. Air pollution-related diseases resulted in the premature deaths of an estimated 14,636 people in western Pennsylvania between 2000 and 2008. Any improvements to emissions are a welcome source of fresh air for Pittsburghers, and Optimus Technologies is using biodiesel conversion to make our air quality better.
Optimus Technologies, based out of Pittsburgh, is driven by the idea that biofuel can be an affordable and environmentally-conscious alternative for diesel engines. The company helps clients transition from traditional fuel to renewable fuels that work with their existing infrastructures while minimizing disruptions to their daily operations and reducing their overall operating costs. This is achieved by manufacturing industry-leading, cost-effective, EPA-certified fuel systems while employing socially and environmentally responsible business operations.
The Vector System is Optimus’ biofuel solution that enables a truck to run exclusively on biodiesel. It powers the engine on renewable fuel 100% of the time while still allowing fallback on diesel if necessary. It reduces operating costs with minimal restructuring of the truck and can be adapted to new fuels as they emerge. The Vector has been independently tested to reduce multiple types of emissions, including particulate matter by up to 40% and NOx by up to 10% over diesel.
But they are not alone–the City of Pittsburgh has joined in. Working with Optimus Techologies, the City has retrofit twenty trucks from the Department of Public Works. The beauty of Optimus Techologies’ Vector Fuel System is that in situations like cold weather, and other times biofuel might not be the best choice, the trucks will use conventional fuel. Service to Pittsburgh will not be disrupted in the event of cold weather where the biofuel ‘gells’ but for most of the year, the trucks will be reducing emissions and saving on bills for the City of Pittsburgh.
It is the start of a larger collaboration with the City of Pittsburgh, slowly introducing city residents to the idea of biofuel as a resource for better air quality.
Grant Ervin, Grant Ervin Chief Resilience Officer for the City of Pittsburgh